If you are an Instagram fan like me, you may have already heard about the Instagram bots and their ability to boost your online presence and build your audience.
In principle,bots are like personal assistants. They are becoming part of our everyday lives without us even noticing it.
How easy is it to ask Siri about the weather, or command Alexa to remind you of the ingredients of your favourite recipe?
Not to mention the endless hours saved on booking cheap flights, finding the best hotel, or simply ordering your dinner when you are too busy watching X-Factor on a Saturday night.
But they can also be useful business tools too.
Bots are helping Instagram business users reach out to target audiences by liking other posts, using relevant hashtags, and commenting on other user's content.
Thinking about it, it seems almost too good to be true: set up an account and let the bots do all the hard work for you.
But, wait for a second - would you actually give your account and social media presence in the capable hands of a bot?
HubSpot investigated the case by creating two Instagram accounts with the same user and content.
One managed by a human, the other by a bot.
Which one do you think was more successful?
In the short term, the bot managed to gain more followers, comments and likes. But were these followers genuine?
As it turned out, the number did not outweigh the quality. Predictably, the account managed by a human took longer to garner the same amount of interaction, but the audience was much more engaging and real.
The conclusion drawn from this experiment is that bots are no substitute for human-to-human interaction. At the end of the day, social media is all about communication, and it requires a lot of work and effort to reach the desired outcome. But in the end, it's worth spending the time to get genuine, real results.
Bots may be intelligent automation tools, but they cannot replace human relationship building skills, active listening and communication. However, considering the combination of a Bot and Human could take your social efforts to the next level.
If you’re tight on time, a combination of automated and manual outbound engagement might work best. However, when it comes to commenting on other people’s content, there’s no better alternative than a human responding with something specific. This has proved to be true in our case study and resulted in a higher conversion (non-follower to follower) ratio. After all, this is social media - it’s about human connection and social sharing. If we all just have bots running our profiles and interacting with each other, what’s the point of doing it at all?